Most wedding photographers are lucky enough to go viral, but one in particular recently experienced the joy of having images of her parents–which she took of course–receive thousands of shares. The photographer, Amber Robinson of Raleigh, North Carolina, took to social media last week to share a tender moment between her parents, Wanda and Marvin Brewington, who’ve triumphed cancer twice in their 47 years of marriage. In the caption, she made note of their inspiring love story, which subsequently went viral on both Facebook and on Instagram.
“In this wonderful creative industry that I worked in, I focus so much on providing couple hours with a day of beautiful photography,” Robinson expressed last Thursday, November 30. “To be honest, rarely do I stop to think about the day, weeks, months or years that follow a wedding day. So today I share with you what those years after can look like when true love exists. These are my parents: married for 47 years, they have triumphed over cancer…twice. Have raised two successful daughters.”
Robinson accompanied her post with photos of her parents smiling into each other’s eyes as they’re dressed to the nines—he’s dapper a navy suit, she’s resplendent in a rose gold sequin gown. “They have been poor together and rich together. They have fed, sheltered, and advised countless lost souls,” Robinson continued in the caption. “They love with out expectation and give freely, whatever it is they have to offer. I am SO proud to call them Mom and Dad. They are the epitome of where I strive to be in my own marriage and a constant reminder that a wedding is only a day, but a marriage is forever.”
Her moving post has since received over 15,000 shares on Facebook, as well as 8,000 likes on Instagram and hundreds of comments from users. “We would’ve never thought in a million years that the reaction to these images would become [this],” Robinson tells The Knot exclusively. “I think we’re a little overwhelmed with how well they’ve been received and how people from all over the world have resonated with the feeling of love that shown in these images.”
The couple first met in college in the 1960s, and married in a backyard ceremony. Marvin, 70, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis only three years after their wedding. He’s also battled cancer twice—the first, in the ‘90s and the second, four years ago. Wanda, 67, meanwhile, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2014. The two took their vows seriously, remaining with each other in sickness and in health.
“The biggest lesson I’ve learned [from my parents] is that marriage, although not easy, is always worth the work,” Robinson tells The Knot. “Mom and dad always taught us that the best day of your life together shouldn’t be your wedding day.”
She adds that the purpose of the shoot was for a festive reason more than sentimental. “I shoot mom and dad annually for their Christmas card and this year was no different,” she says. “The only thing we decided to do differently that we had it done before, was make the attire formal.”
Robinson tapped two vendors she typically works with for her clients to handle the hair and makeup portion. “When we told Melissa and Tish that we were planning to do a glam holiday shoot, of course they were on board,” she adds, “because they love mom and dad.”